Pocopson board ponders sign color

Pocopson Township Supervisors voted 2-1 Monday to support a variance for a sign on the new Ducklings Early Learning Center building.

Supervisors Ricki Stumpo, the board chairman, and Alice Balsama voted for the motion. Supervisors’ Vice Chairman Elaine DiMonte opposed the motion.

The township’s Zoning Hearing Board will hold a hearing on the sign variance at 7 p.m. Oct. 26.

The color of the sign was an issue with two of the supervisors. Both DiMonte and Balsama said they wished the yellow-and-orange colors on the sign would complement the building more. The building is at the entrance to the Riverside at Chadds Ford development.

“The building is so beautiful,” DiMonte said. “I think it would be nice if the colors were more subtle. I think because it’s in a residential area is why it bothers me.”

Stumpo said she had no issue with the sign’s colors. “I have no problem with it,” she said.

The attorney for Ducklings’ owner Joanne Thompson, Neil Land, said the colors and design of the sign were important to establish branding and franchising for Ducklings, which also has locations in East Marlborough (Longwood), Lower Oxford (Oxford), and Franklin townships (Landenberg).

The non-lit wall sign would be placed above the front door, facing the street, Land said.

“The sign proposal meets existing standards,” he said, adding that in the settlement with residents of the Riverside Development, there was nothing included about the existence of a sign.

Township Secretary Susan Simone said that while Pocopson’s Planning Commission recommended the variance be granted, several of its members also had comments on the proposed color scheme.

Ducklings needs a variance for the sign because the facility, while a commercial use, is located in a residential district, and the sign would not normally be permitted, according to the ZHB notice advertising the hearing.

Other business

DiMonte and Stumpo met on Oct. 6 with GKO Associates, Stumpo said during the Sunshine Announcements portion of Monday’s meeting. GKO is the firm conducting the feasibility study of the historic Eusebius Barnard House and the current township building.

Later in the meeting, DiMonte noted that GKO had presented initial concepts that piqued their interest.

“They were some pretty cool ideas,” DiMonte said.

Balsama added that the ideas were “kind of an extension of what they originally proposed.”

The next time supervisors will meet with GKO will be Nov. 3. County commissioners were invited to attend, as the Barnard House property was originally under county ownership before it was transferred to Pocopson.

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About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.

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